More Light! Student Video Contest

Alicia Bones

Lawrence’s upcoming student video competition invites students to shed “More Light!” on unique aspects of Lawrence.
The “More Light!” theme is based on the seal of Lawrence University, which says “Light! More Light!” and “Veritas est Lux” (Truth is Light), as well as the Milwaukee-Downer College seal, which says “Sit Lux” (Let there be light).
Filmmaking teams must plan their ideas for the four- to five-minute film and submit them to Director of Donor Relations Joseph Brooks by March 3.
A faculty and staff committee, comprised of assistant professors of studio art Julie Lindemann and John Shimon, Ormsby RHD and Campus Activities Programming Coordinator LaDonna Hayden, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Cal Husmann and assistant professor of music Andrew Mast, will then select three finalists.
Brooks said the judges will be looking for a film idea that is “really creative, really authentic, and really moving.”
The three finalist teams will receive a professional video camera, an iBook laptop with video editing software and $1000 to create their film by June 20.
A different panel, comprised mostly of alumni and including filmmaker and CEO of The Documentary Channel Tom Neff, will judge the final selections.
The winning team will receive $3000, while the runner-up will receive $1500. The winning team will also have its work screened at Lawrence’s Fall Festival next year and featured on The Documentary Channel.
Brooks and Husmann put this competition together as part of a renewed fundraising initiative. The campaign has currently raised $100 million and plans on raising an additional $50 million.
They plan to target mostly alumni to increase Lawrence’s current alumni giving rate of 50 percent.
Brooks said the videos will be taken to “show to donors and friends of the college … [to give] them a look at the college.”
Some alumni haven’t been back to the campus in years, so the video competition is a way to give them a modern student’s perspective.
Besides showing a student perspective to alums, a goal of the competition is to “create some collaboration on campus.”
The teams should be comprised not only of students skilled with cameras and computers, but potentially also artists, writers, and composers. Original musical compositions need to be included in every film.
Students without knowledge of video or computer software should also apply. As Brooks said, “[Lawrence will offer] training sessions with the three teams to give them a heads up on how to use the equipment, because we don’t want this to be just for experts.”
The film can be serious, fun, or funny — as long as it’s engaging. The finished product must be polished and professional, exhibiting creativity and “broadly following the guidelines we put forth,” Brooks said.
Aside from these guidelines, the competition founders and panelists do not know what the video contest will yield.
Again, the deadline for team registration to be submitted to Joseph Brooks is March 3. Brooks can be contacted by phone at (920) 832-6556 or by e-mail at
The selection of three teams by committee will take place on March 10.